Posts Tagged 'Honor'

1 Chronicles Chapter 10

The children of Israel had been led by judges, chosen by God and under His direction. This went on for many years, until the Israelites allowed the influence of surrounding nations to persuade them to have a king instead of following after the Lord’s pattern. This was around 1095 B.C. As their first king, the Lord chose a Benjamite named Saul. He was a very good, humble, young man when chosen by God. However, he gave in to personal weaknesses over time, and lost the favor of God (see 1 Samuel 15:23).

The Philistines had risen in power during the reign of Saul and he became afraid. He tried to pray for answers, but because of his disobedience, they were not answered. He went to the witch of Endor, and the spirit of Samuel told Saul he and his sons would die (see 1 Samuel 28). This chapter of Chronicles occurs somewhere around 1047 B.C. (according to the chronology of the Bible), after Saul had been told he would die. It begins as follows:

1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.
2 And the Philistines followed hard after Saul, and after his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchi-shua, the sons of Saul.
3 And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him, and he was wounded of the archers.
4 Then said Saul to his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. So Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.
5 And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise on the sword, and died.
6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and all his house died together.
7 And when all the men of Israel that were in the valley saw that they fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, then they forsook their cities, and fled: and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.

The Philistines went against Israel and fought them hard. The Israelite army retreated to mount Gilboa, but the Philistines pursued them and killed many, including the sons of Saul. The Philistines chased after Saul and he was shot by an arrow. Saul asked his servant to kill him, so that he would not be tortured by their enemies, but the servant refused to do it because he was afraid. Saul chose to do it himself (see also 1 Samuel 31). Once the servant saw it, he also killed himself. The men of the land where this happened, saw that Saul and his sons were dead, and they ran away, leaving their cities for the Philistines to take and live in them. (see also 2 Samuel 1:10 for another witness of Saul’s death)

8 And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his sons fallen in mount Gilboa.
9 And when they had stripped him, they took his head, and his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to carry tidings unto their idols, and to the people.
10 And they put his armour in the house of their gods, and fastened his head in the temple of Dagon.

The Philistines went to the dead to take what they could from them, and they found the bodies of Saul and his sons. They stripped Saul, took his head and armor, and sent word to their people. They displayed his armor in their temple (the house of Ashtaroth) and his head in the temple of Dagon. (see also 1 Samuel 31:8-10 – his body was displayed on the wall of Beth-shan).

11 And when all Jabesh-gilead heard all that the Philistines had done to Saul,
12 They arose, all the valiant men, and took away the body of Saul, and the bodies of his sons, and brought them to Jabesh, and buried their bones under the oak in Jabesh, and fasted seven days.

The men of Jabesh-gilead heard of the things that the Philistines had done to body of Saul. The valiant men went to the place where the bodies of Saul and his sons had been disrespected, and took their bodies to Jabesh where they buried them. Then they fasted for seven days, which was tradition according to the law of Moses. In the law, the Lord declared that any who touched the dead, were unclean for seven days. (see Numbers 19:11)

13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the Lord, even against the word of the Lord, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it;
14 And inquired not of the Lord: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.

The reason that the Lord allowed Saul to die in battle, was because he had transgressed and gone against the word of the Lord. He had knowingly turned to the forbidden choice of seeking after speaking with the dead, instead of turning to the Lord. In the law found in Leviticus 20:6, we read, “And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.” As a result, Saul was not protected in battle and the kingdom was then given to David, the son of Jesse, whom the Lord had chosen to be his successor. This was fulfillment of the prophecy of Samuel to Saul which said, “But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.” (see 1 Samuel 13:14)

I have been thinking about the description of the men in verse 12, which says they were valiant men. Which means men showing courage and determination. At first glance, it may seem to mean that these men had the courage necessary to enter the land of the Philistines, at the risk of their own lives, to gather the bodies of their royal family. This would indeed make them men worthy of the description of being valiant. However, I think it is possible that the recorder of this event felt something more about these men. As I said above, it was law that a person who touched the dead were considered unclean. It would seem that more often than not, those who could avoid even looking upon a dead body, would avoid it, so as to avoid all possibility of uncleanliness. Yet these men had such a respect for Saul and his sons (this does not mean they supported him or followed him, but that they respected that he was their leader who had been chosen for them by the Lord), that they were willing to make a personal sacrifice of cleanliness, in order to give them the honor they deserved and no longer be mistreated by their enemies. They were valiant men, because they honored the law of Moses in a time when many of their brethren were not faithful to the law. They made their choice knowing it would have personal consequences both physical and spiritual, but also knowing that their leaders deserved more in death then they had received. They were definitely valiant men of Israel.


1 Kings Chapter 7

King Solomon lived in Jerusalem, where his father David had built a home before Solomon was born. Solomon had been commanded to build a temple, which was written of in the previous chapters. Around the same time, I believe, he built his own home in Jerusalem. This chapter gives some of the details of his palace, as well as additional descriptions of the temple.

1 But Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he finished all his house.

It took Solomon thirteen years to build his house.

2 He built also the house of the forest of Lebanon; the length thereof was an hundred cubits, and the breadth thereof fifty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits, upon four rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams upon the pillars.
3 And it was covered with cedar above upon the beams, that lay on forty five pillars, fifteen in a row.
4 And there were windows in three rows, and light was against light in three ranks.
5 And all the doors and posts were square, with the windows: and light was against light in three ranks.

In the building, he used wood from cedar trees. The size of the home is detailed here.

6 And he made a porch of pillars; the length thereof was fifty cubits, and the breadth thereof thirty cubits: and the porch was before them: and the other pillars and the thick beam were before them.

There were pillars on the house or palace. Other pillars had been previously raised in places of great importance to the Israelites, much like monuments. I have the feeling that pillars were not a common thing to the people of those days and it showed the importance of the palace of Solomon.

7 Then he made a porch for the throne where he might judge, even the porch of judgment: and it was covered with cedar from one side of the floor to the other.

There was an area built for Solomon to judge the people. It was also build of cedar.

8 And his house where he dwelt had another court within the porch, which was of the like work. Solomon made also an house for Pharaoh’s daughter, whom he had taken to wife, like unto this porch.
9 All these were of costly stones, according to the measures of hewed stones, sawed with saws, within and without, even from the foundation unto the coping, and so on the outside toward the great court.
10 And the foundation was of costly stones, even great stones, stones of ten cubits, and stones of eight cubits.
11 And above were costly stones, after the measures of hewed stones, and cedars.
12 And the great court round about was with three rows of hewed stones, and a row of cedar beams, both for the inner court of the house of the Lord, and for the porch of the house.

Solomon made a home, or an area in his palace, set aside for his wife, the daughter of Pharaoh. There were many costly materials used to make these buildings, as well as the building of the temple.

13 And king Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre.
14 He was a widow’s son of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass: and he was filled with wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass. And he came to king Solomon, and wrought all his work.
15 For he cast two pillars of brass, of eighteen cubits high apiece: and a line of twelve cubits did compass either of them about.
16 And he made two chapiters of molten brass, to set upon the tops of the pillars: the height of the one chapiter was five cubits, and the height of the other chapiter was five cubits:
17 And nets of checker work, and wreaths of chain work, for the chapiters which were upon the top of the pillars; seven for the one chapiter, and seven for the other chapiter.
18 And he made the pillars, and two rows round about upon the one network, to cover the chapiters that were upon the top, with pomegranates: and so did he for the other chapiter.
19 And the chapiters that were upon the top of the pillars were of lily work in the porch, four cubits.
20 And the chapiters upon the two pillars had pomegranates also above, over against the belly which was by the network: and the pomegranates were two hundred in rows round about upon the other chapiter.
21 And he set up the pillars in the porch of the temple: and he set up the right pillar, and called the name thereof Jachin: and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof Boaz.
22 And upon the top of the pillars was lily work: so was the work of the pillars finished.

Hiram of Tyre, was hired to make two brass pillars and the tops of the pillars with nets and chains. They were decorated with pomegranate and lily work. The pillars were called Jachin and Boaz.

23 And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.
24 And under the brim of it round about there were knops compassing it, ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about: the knops were cast in two rows, when it was cast.
25 It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the sea was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward.
26 And it was an hand breadth thick, and the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies: it contained two thousand baths.

Hiram also made what was called a molten sea, which was a baptismal font. It was laid on twelve oxen, which were facing outwards from the font.

27 And he made ten bases of brass; four cubits was the length of one base, and four cubits the breadth thereof, and three cubits the height of it.
28 And the work of the bases was on this manner: they had borders, and the borders were between the ledges:
29 And on the borders that were between the ledges were lions, oxen, and cherubims: and upon the ledges there was a base above: and beneath the lions and oxen were certain additions made of thin work.
30 And every base had four brasen wheels, and plates of brass: and the four corners thereof had undersetters: under the laver were undersetters molten, at the side of every addition.
31 And the mouth of it within the chapiter and above was a cubit: but the mouth thereof was round after the work of the base, a cubit and an half: and also upon the mouth of it were gravings with their borders, foursquare, not round.
32 And under the borders were four wheels; and the axletrees of the wheels were joined to the base: and the height of a wheel was a cubit and half a cubit.
33 And the work of the wheels was like the work of a chariot wheel: their axletrees, and their naves, and their felloes, and their spokes, were all molten.
34 And there were four undersetters to the four corners of one base: and the undersetters were of the very base itself.
35 And in the top of the base was there a round compass of half a cubit high: and on the top of the base the ledges thereof and the borders thereof were of the same.
36 For on the plates of the ledges thereof, and on the borders thereof, he graved cherubims, lions, and palm trees, according to the proportion of every one, and additions round about.
37 After this manner he made the ten bases: all of them had one casting, one measure, and one size.

Hiram made ten brass bases ornamented with lions, oxen and cherubs. Each base had wheels and plates of brass. The plates were ornamented with cherubs, lions and palm trees.

38 Then made he ten lavers of brass: one laver contained forty baths: and every laver was four cubits: and upon every one of the ten bases one laver.
39 And he put five bases on the right side of the house, and five on the left side of the house: and he set the sea on the right side of the house eastward over against the south.

Hiram made ten brass lavers, for washing in the temple. The location of the bases and font are mentioned here: five bases to the right and five to the left, with the font on the right to the south-east.

40 And Hiram made the lavers, and the shovels, and the basins. So Hiram made an end of doing all the work that he made king Solomon for the house of the Lord:
41 The two pillars, and the two bowls of the chapiters that were on the top of the two pillars; and the two networks, to cover the two bowls of the chapiters which were upon the top of the pillars;
42 And four hundred pomegranates for the two networks, even two rows of pomegranates for one network, to cover the two bowls of the chapiters that were upon the pillars;
43 And the ten bases, and ten lavers on the bases;
44 And one sea, and twelve oxen under the sea;
45 And the pots, and the shovels, and the basins: and all these vessels, which Hiram made to king Solomon for the house of the Lord, were of bright brass.
46 In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zarthan.
47 And Solomon left all the vessels unweighed, because they were exceeding many: neither was the weight of the brass found out.
48 And Solomon made all the vessels that pertained unto the house of the Lord: the altar of gold, and the table of gold, whereupon the shewbread was,
49 And the candlesticks of pure gold, five on the right side, and five on the left, before the oracle, with the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs of gold,
50 And the bowls, and the snuffers, and the basins, and the spoons, and the censers of pure gold; and the hinges of gold, both for the doors of the inner house, the most holy place, and for the doors of the house, to wit, of the temple.
51 So was ended all the work that king Solomon made for the house of the Lord. And Solomon brought in the things which David his father had dedicated; even the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, did he put among the treasures of the house of the Lord.

Additionally, Hiram made the lavers, shovels and basins, which were all the vessels of the temple. The were all ornately decorated and made of brass. The brass work was unmeasured because there was so much made. The altar and table within the temple, were made of gold, as well as the candlesticks, lamps, tongs, bowls, snuffers, basins, spoons, censers, and the door hinges within the temple. The same items in the tabernacle, had been made of gold as well. All the treasures and things, that had been dedicated to the Lord, by King David, were placed with the treasures of the temple.

The building of the temple and the palace of Solomon, were costly. It seems that no expense was spared, especially with the inside of the temple as it is described. It seems that Hiram, and any who might have helped him, were great at their craft. I am sure many hours and more, were sacrificed to provide all that was needed in building the temple. This is an example of using the gifts that we have been blessed with, to help build up the kingdom of God. Also, in this chapter we continue to see the type of man that Solomon was. He was the king, and probably could have done what he wanted to with treasures and great things, but he honored the dedications that his father had made, and put them with the temple. He was an honorable, upright and loyal man, who fulfilled his duty to the Lord and built the temple, so that the Israelites could worship the Lord in His house.

2 Samuel Chapter 9

David became the king of Israel after the death of their first king, Saul. Saul had been jealous of David for many years before his death, and had tried to kill David many times. David was Saul’s son-in-law, a loyal servant and subject to his king. During his time with the family of Saul, he had come to have a sincere and abiding brotherly love towards Jonathan. Jonathan died during the same battle as Saul, and David had mourned greatly for the loss of his dear friend and brother. This chapter begins with:

1 And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?
2 And there was of the house of Saul a servant whose name was Ziba. And when they had called him unto David, the king said unto him, Art thou Ziba? And he said, Thy servant is he.
3 And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet.
4 And the king said unto him, Where is he? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he is in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, in Lo-debar.

David desired to honor the family of Saul, because he had made a covenant with Jonathan to do so. When seeking to know if any of the family remained, a servant named Ziba was brought before David. Ziba told King David, about Jonathan’s lame son who was in Lo-debar with the family of Machir.

5 Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar.
6 Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant!

David sent for the son, named Mephibosheth, and when he was brought before him, he worshiped David. When his name was called by David, he offered himself a servant to the king. It almost seems as though he was afraid for what might be done with him.

I wonder what age he was at this point, because when his father died, he was only 5 years old (see 2 Samuel 4:4). David had ruled in Judah for seven and a half years, which means that Mephibosheth was at least twelve and a half when David took the throne of Israel. David remained in Hebron for 3 years, before relocating to Jerusalem (see 2 Samuel 5:5), so the boy was likely to be older than fifteen. We do not know how long it was after that point, when David asked for Mephibosheth to be brought before him, so he could have been a young man still. This hearkens back to David being a young boy when he was brought into the house of Saul to play for him and be his servant.

7 And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually.
8 And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?

David told him not to fear, because he wanted to show kindness towards him as he had promised his father. He offered Mephibosheth all the land of Saul and a seat at his own table continually. David probably felt as though this young man was family to him. Mephibosheth seems to have said that he was not worthy of all that was offered to him by the king.

9 Then the king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said unto him, I have given unto thy master’s son all that pertained to Saul and to all his house.
10 Thou therefore, and thy sons, and thy servants, shall till the land for him, and thou shalt bring in the fruits, that thy master’s son may have food to eat: but Mephibosheth thy master’s son shall eat bread alway at my table. Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.
11 Then said Ziba unto the king, According to all that my lord the king hath commanded his servant, so shall thy servant do. As for Mephibosheth, said the king, he shall eat at my table, as one of the king’s sons.
12 And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Micha. And all that dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants unto Mephibosheth.
13 So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king’s table; and was lame on both his feet.

David called Ziba to him and told him all that he gave to Mephibosheth. He commanded the servant and his household, to work for the son of Jonathan and his family. He said that Mephibosheth would eat at his table as one of his own sons. Ziba and his household became the servants of Mephibosheth, just as the king had commanded. Mephibosheth moved back to Jerusalem and was treated like family of the king.

David was a man of honor and integrity. He had made a covenant with Jonathan, and even at a time when he could have gone on without doing anything, he searched out how he could fulfill his covenant to the house of Jonathan. We will have opportunities in our lives, when we can make the choice not to follow through on a promise, but to go on without anyone on earth knowing the difference, or to do the thing that shows our own honor and integrity. These choices will be most important in the covenants we make with God. I know that God will always know what we choose, and when we live with integrity, we will be greatly blessed. If not, we will be held accountable for our choices and the eventual consequence may far outweigh the effort to have lived with integrity in this life.

2 Samuel Chapter 1

This is the beginning of a new book in the Old Testament, which is otherwise known as the Second Book of the Kings. According the the Bible Dictionary, this was part of the same book in the Hebrew version of the Old Testament, but has been split in the version which is used in the King James version. I believe the split has to do with it being the record of two kings in Israel. In the narrative of the first book of Samuel or the First Book of the Kings, the people of Israel chose to have an earthly king rather than follow the prophets under the direction of the Lord. The first king, anointed by the Lord, was Saul. Saul allowed the influences of the world and the temptations of the adversary, to creep into his heart. He became a wicked man and the Lord withdrew from Him. David was chosen and anointed to be the next king, though he did not become the king right away. King Saul feared David and after several attempts at killing him, David showed his good character, and spared Saul’s life more than once. David trusted in the timing of the Lord. Eventually, Saul met his end in a battle against the Philistines. This second book will tell of the reign of David and it begins as follows:

1 Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had abode two days in Ziklag;
2 It came even to pass on the third day, that, behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul with his clothes rent, and earth upon his head: and so it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the earth, and did obeisance.
3 And David said unto him, From whence comest thou? And he said unto him, Out of the camp of Israel am I escaped.
4 And David said unto him, How went the matter? I pray thee, tell me. And he answered, That the people are fled from the battle, and many of the people also are fallen and dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also.
5 And David said unto the young man that told him, How knowest thou that Saul and Jonathan his son be dead?
6 And the young man that told him said, As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa, behold, Saul leaned upon his spear; and, lo, the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him.
7 And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called unto me. And I answered, Here am I.
8 And he said unto me, Who art thou? And I answered him, I am an Amalekite.
9 He said unto me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me: for anguish is come upon me, because my life is yet whole in me.
10 So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my lord.
11 Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that were with him:
12 And they mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the Lord, and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen by the sword.

David had been in his home in Ziklag, for just two days, when a man from Saul’s army, came mourning and he bowed down to David. The man told him that he was from the camp of Israel, and that he had escaped. He told David that the Israelites had fled and that many had died, including Saul and his son, Jonathan. When asked how he knew these things, the man said that he had seen Saul leaning upon his spear, as the Philistines came upon him. Saul saw the man and asked who he was. The man told him he was an Amalekite. He said that Saul told him to kill him, and so he did. The man took his crown and bracelet and brought them to David. David rent his clothes and fasted, in mourning for their king and for Jonathan, as well as all those who they had lost in that battle.

It seems that the Amalekite was making a claim to something happening in a way that the previous chapter told differently. It is my guess that the Amalekite hoped that in claiming to kill Saul, he would find favor in the sight of David, because it was known that Saul had made himself an enemy to David.

13 And David said unto the young man that told him, Whence art thou? And he answered, I am the son of a stranger, an Amalekite.
14 And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?
15 And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died.
16 And David said unto him, Thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the Lord’s anointed.

David asked the man where he was from, and the man told him he was an Amalekite stranger. Then David asked how he was able to kill the anointed of the Lord without any fear. I think in saying these things to the man, he was telling him that he was wrong to think that David would have been pleased to hear these tidings. Instead, David was prepared to punish the man for it. David commanded one of his men to kill this man who claimed to have killed Saul and he told him that he had brought this upon himself by his own testimony.

17 And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son:
18 (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.)
19 The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!
20 Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.
21 Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil.
22 From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty.
23 Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.
24 Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel.
25 How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places.
26 I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.
27 How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!

David lamented over the death of Saul and Jonathan with a song to go with an instrument. This would have been fitting, since David had first served Saul in playing for him. I find it interesting that it says it was written in the book of Jasher, which is not one that we currently have in our Bible. This must be among the lost scriptures. It is always a wonder to me, all the things that we possibly do not know, because they are in the lost scriptures of the prophets of old.

The song of David tells the Israelites to not give the Philistines more opportunities to boast of how they had killed the mighty men of Israel. He sang of the mountains receiving no moisture where Saul, the anointed, had fallen. He praised both Jonathan and Saul and told Israel to weep for Saul who had brought them good fortune. He hints to the loyalty of Jonathan to his father, in spite of the things that we know Saul did to him, by saying that they were not divided in death. Jonathan was there to fight under the command of his king and his father. David mourned for the loss of Jonathan, whom he loved more dearly than he loved any woman. The Israelites had lost much in this fight.

It is good to know that, even though Saul had brought a lot of trials and tribulations into David’s life, he did not rejoice in his death. He knew that Saul had done many good things in his life, and that he had done a lot of good for Israel. He honored Saul, because Saul was his king, anointed by the Lord to be such, and he deserved great respect for it. David was not seeking after the throne or power. He was a man of honor and integrity, and at least at this point in his life, he was a great example to Israel.

Ruth Chapter 2

Ruth was the widowed, Moabite daughter-in-law of Naomi, who was an Israelite. She had traveled to Beth-lehem with Naomi, in order to care for her. Ruth had left her family and culture behind, never to return, because she loved Naomi and wanted to remain with her. This next chapter begins:

1 And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband’s, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.
2 And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter.
3 And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.

Ruth went out to see if she could glean corn for Naomi and herself. Gleaning was acceptable under the law of Moses, and the Israelites had been commanded to allow the borders of the fields for this purpose. In so doing, I believe the Lord was allowing for Israelites to care for the poor among them. As it happened, she ended up in the field of Boaz, who was a member of Naomi’s family by marriage.

4 And, behold, Boaz came from Beth-lehem, and said unto the reapers, The Lord be with you. And they answered him, The Lord bless thee.
5 Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this?
6 And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab:
7 And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house.
8 Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens:
9 Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.
10 Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?
11 And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.
12 The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.
13 Then she said, Let me find favour in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens.
14 And Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left.
15 And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not:
16 And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.
17 So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley.

Boaz went to his fields and greeted the reapers. He asked the servant of the reapers, who Ruth was. The servant told him that Ruth was the Moabite woman who had returned with Naomi, and that she had asked permission to glean in their field, after the reapers. She had been their all day. Boaz showed kindness towards Ruth, by telling her that she could continue to reap in his field and did not need to go elsewhere for food. He also allowed her to remain with the women of his household. His men were instructed that they were not to stop her from being there, and she was allowed to drink the water with them as well. She respectfully asked him why he would notice her and show kindness to her, when she was a stranger or foreigner. He told her that he had heard the things she had done to care for her widowed mother-in-law, even leaving her own people to be with her in the land of the Israelites. The Lord had reason to bless her for these things. She desired to find favor in the sight of Boaz, and so he told her to join him for a meal with his workers, which she did. When she was finished eating, she returned to glean in his field of Barley. Boaz told his men not only to allow it, but to drop some of the harvest they gathered, so that she could have it.

18 And she took it up, and went into the city: and her mother in law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth, and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed.
19 And her mother in law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned to day? and where wroughtest thou? blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee. And she shewed her mother in law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man’s name with whom I wrought to day is Boaz.
20 And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the Lord, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen.
21 And Ruth the Moabitess said, He said unto me also, Thou shalt keep fast by my young men, until they have ended all my harvest.
22 And Naomi said unto Ruth her daughter in law, It is good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, that they meet thee not in any other field.
23 So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and dwelt with her mother in law.

Ruth took the food she had gleaned, back to Naomi, and gave it to her. Naomi asked Ruth where she had gleaned. Ruth told her that she had worked with Boaz. Naomi blessed Boaz for his kindness toward Ruth, telling Ruth that he was her kin, or of her family, who had the right or ability to redeem her. Meaning that Boaz had the ability to purchase the land of Naomi’s husband and redeem Naomia and Ruth to the land of their inheritance. Ruth also told Naomi that Boaz had told her to remain with his men throughout the harvest. Naomi felt this would be good for Ruth, and so Ruth continued to glean in the fields of Boaz, until the end of harvest.

I am not absolutely sure what is meant, but I think that in verse 20, Naomi meant that in choosing to be kind to her, Boaz was also extending a kindness to the men in their family who had died. In a recent attempt to better understand how I could keep the commandment to honor my father and mother, I asked my father how he felt I could honor him. One of the answers he gave to me, was to care for my mother after he could was no longer in this life. We can extend kindness to those who have gone on before, by caring for those who they leave behind, especially the widows and fatherless. Throughout time, loving and caring husbands and fathers, pass on and are no longer able to perform their duties to provide and protect the family they love. I can imagine an incredible gratitude expressed in the eternities, to individuals who choose to be kind to the widows and children left behind, when they themselves progress from this life. It takes a compassionate man to assume the role of providing for another such as this. This shows us that Boaz was a very kind and compassionate man, as Naomi describes him to be. This should be an example to us, that there is an important need for us to care for those who are left when a husband and father pass on from this life.

Are we Dedicated to Strengthening Families?

As a woman in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), I am a member of one of the largest women’s organization in the world. This group is called the Relief Society. Several years ago, a declaration was written for the Relief Society and the posts in this series are an attempt to apply this declaration to my life more. In this attempt I will be breaking down the parts of it into questions that I would like to try to answer through study. To view other posts related to this declaration, go here: Relief Society Declaration.

We are beloved spirit daughters of God, and our lives have meaning, purpose, and direction. As a worldwide sisterhood, we are united in our devotion to Jesus Christ, our Savior and Exemplar. We are women of faith, virtue, vision, and charity who:
Increase our testimonies of Jesus Christ through prayer and scripture study.
Seek spiritual strength by following the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
Dedicate ourselves to strengthening marriages, families, and homes.

Every person is part of both a spiritual family and an earthly family. I believe that families are the most important unit of anything that God has created on this earth. Earthly families have the great potential of being together forever, whether they are just a husband and wife or parents with several children. In respect to the time after the Savior comes again, Doctrine and Covenants 130:2 reads, “And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy.” Because families are so important, it is vital that we work to keep the bonds and relationships strong.

How do we strengthen our family? When I think of examples of strong families, I think of how they look happy to be together. I believe that when love is tenderly nurtured in the home, joy and happiness are there. In Ecclesiastes 9:9 it says, “Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.” The reward or portion of the reward we receive in this life, is our family. They are the reason for the work we do and when we love them, we will find true joy. I think love is the key tool to strengthening our families.

Additionally, one of the greatest sources of strength that we can have in this life, is prayer. Through prayer, the Lord can bless our families to be able to get through any difficulty and to stay strong when times are good as well. Prayer together builds a unity that will be lasting. In 3 Nephi 18:21 we read, “Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed.” My family has been greatly blessed for praying together. Hearing my husband pray on my behalf, gives me support in such a personal way that it shows just how much he cares for me. I believe our children will benefit from hearing us pray for them and all the things they are dealing with in their days. I know it may sound silly, but I truly believe that the ‘family that prays together, stays together’.

Mark 9:37 says, “Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.” Children are a gift from God. Part of strengthening our families is taking on the responsibility to have them if we are able. I understand that this decision really is between couples and Heavenly Father, but there are so many people in the world today, who are choosing to have careers and focus on worldly things, instead of receiving one of these beautiful spirits into their families. Having children is challenging and difficult, but the life lessons we learn and the growth that we attain will strengthen our families greatly. The earth was created for this purpose. In Isaiah 45:18 we read, “For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else.” The earth serves its purpose when we bring children into the world. I know that having children when we are capable, is one of the greatest ways that we can be strengthened as married couples.

In a family, strength comes from teaching and learning together. Parents should always be looking for ways to teach their children things that are both spiritual and secular. Learning from one another, sharing understandings, and seeking for answers together, will bring families closer together. In Moses 5:12 it says, “And Adam and Eve blessed the name of God, and they made all things known unto their sons and their daughters.” Our first parents were the first example of teaching all that they knew to their sons and daughters. When we work to teach one another, I believe the Lord will bless us all with greater knowledge, wisdom and understanding. Proverbs 24:5 reads, “A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.” I know that this also applies to families as a whole. We should seek for wisdom and knowledge as a family so that we can nourish one another and become stronger as a whole.

Strengthening our families is helped when we honor one another. In Exodus 20:12, we read the following commandment, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” Our parents deserve our honor and respect. Likewise, children need to be respected also. If we say or do anything to tear one another down, instead of saying things to encourage, compliment and uplift each other, we are not adding the strength that our families need. The things we choose to do will reflect greatly on our family name. Moreover, a strong family is one where the individuals live in a way to make the whole family proud. Proverbs 10:1 reads, “. . . A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.” I know this goes both ways and as parents we need to remember that we do not want to do anything to shame our children either.

We strengthen our families by being a good example of righteous principles. Likewise, a bad example can weaken a family. Jacob 2:35 reads, “. . . Ye have broken the hearts of your tender wives, and lost the confidence of your children, because of your bad examples before them; and the sobbings of their hearts ascend up to God against you. And because of the strictness of the word of God, which cometh down against you, many hearts died, pierced with deep wounds.” Applying the principles of the gospel to our lives makes us stronger as individuals and in turn builds our family up as well. Job 17:9 says, “The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.” The Lord blessed the righteous and faithful. When we live righteously, we gain the strength to be more capable of enduring through the difficulties of every day life. As part of the learning process to gain this strength, the Lord will show our families where we need to improve. We learn this in Ether 12:27, which reads, “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” When we humble ourselves as families, we make the decisions to change things we do as a group. For example, our family recognized, through inspiration of the spirit, that we had a weakness when it came to the things we chose to watch on tv. When we faithfully humbled ourselves and removed those shows that were not good for us, we grew together as a family. The Lord has promised us that “. . . he that is faithful shall be made strong in every place . . .” (see D&C 66:8).

Our family will be strengthened when we are actively in defense against Satan and his influence. We are in defense mode when we live the things that the Savior has taught. In Ephesians 6 we read the following:

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

We need to be vigilant in not allowing Satan’s influence into our families. There is so much in the world today that is working to break the family unit down. Our attitudes, the things we choose to be entertained by, and the worldly things we seek after can break down our family relationships without us even realizing it. Doing things together such as family home evening, scripture study, prayer, attending church, serving others, and wholesome activities, will bring our families closer together and keep Satan’s influences from so easily breaking us down.

Greater still, our families will be strengthened when we make the choice to be sealed for time and all eternity. As a member of the LDS faith, I believe that God has given us the ability to become forever families. Authorized priesthood holders, in temples of the Lord, are able to bind worthy families eternally to one another and to God. This is a greater commitment than anything we can be a part of in this life. Because my own family is sealed, I am more aware of how the things I choose to do will affect us as a group both in this life and after it. In Malachi 4:6 we read, “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” I believe the greater version of this promise can be found in Joseph Smith-History 1:39, which says, “And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.” These promises can only be realized through the amazing blessings of being sealed as a family. I don’t know what greater source of strength there can be in a family, than to know that they are able to be with each other forever.

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we should strive to help other families to be strengthened as well. We need to stand up for families in the world today. We should support those things that lead to building families and fight against the evils that seek to drive families apart. Making our families a priority over careers and other extra-curricular activities, shows others the true value of family. We should live as examples of happy families and show others how our families can bring us the most joy and fulfillment in life. Being consistent with our family traditions and such (i.e. family holidays, prayer, game nights, scripture study, dinners, etc.) will stand as a bright example to others. Doing things together like playing, learning, and simply being together, will show others that we care about our family relationships. We need to help others to see that it is never okay to disrespect or dishonor our family members. We should never talk bad about our family members, gossip even if it may be true, or say or do anything that would make them feel bad. Being an example of love towards our family, in our words and actions, will go a long way in building other families up. Moreover, remember that even though we are part of separate earthly families, we are all part of the same spiritual family. The more we can share this gospel principle and that we really can be part of an eternal family, the stronger our spiritual family will be.

I cannot truly express in words, just how grateful I am for my family. I love my husband and children with all my heart. I am so grateful for my parents and siblings and all that I have learned and continue to learn from them. I rejoice in the hope of being with all of them forever. I am grateful for the things I learn from the Relief Society, and the church and gospel, which help to build and strengthen my family more each day. I hope that others can recognize just how important it is for us to work on strengthening our families and also helping others to have strong families as well.

Genesis Chapter 23

Abraham has experienced great tests and trials, including the commandment to sacrifice Isaac, which he endured well. The book of Genesis continues the life of Abraham as follows:

1 And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah.
2 And Sarah died in Kirjath-arba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.

Sarah was greatly loved by her family. Naturally, Abraham mourned and wept for her. They had been through many years of ups and downs together and had endured them all remaining worthy of all the blessings God had promised them.

3 And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying,
4 I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a buryingplace with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.
5 And the children of Heth answered Abraham, saying unto him,
6 Hear us, my lord: thou art a mighty prince among us: in the choice of our sepulchres bury thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulchre, but that thou mayest bury thy dead.
7 And Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, even to the children of Heth.
8 And he communed with them, saying, If it be your mind that I should bury my dead out of my sight; hear me, and intreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar,
9 That he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he hath, which is in the end of his field; for as much money as it is worth he shall give it me for a possession of a buryingplace amongst you.
10 And Ephron dwelt among the children of Heth: and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the audience of the children of Heth, even of all that went in at the gate of his city, saying,
11 Nay, my lord, hear me: the field give I thee, and the cave that is therein, I give it thee; in the presence of the sons of my people give I it thee: bury thy dead.
12 And Abraham bowed down himself before the people of the land.
13 And he spake unto Ephron in the audience of the people of the land, saying, But if thou wilt give it, I pray thee, hear me: I will give thee money for the field; take it of me, and I will bury my dead there.
14 And Ephron answered Abraham, saying unto him,
15 My lord, hearken unto me: the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver; what is that betwixt me and thee? bury therefore thy dead.
16 And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant.

Abraham was favored highly among the people of the land, even though he was not a native of the land. We know what they felt of him, because they called him a mighty prince of God. He asked for a place to bury Sarah and they offered a sepulcher to him. He asked if he could instead have a cave in the land, which he would pay full price for. They wanted to give it to him as a gift, but Abraham insisted on paying him for the land, which he did.

17 And the field of Ephron, which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field, and the cave which was therein, and all the trees that were in the field, that were in all the borders round about, were made sure
18 Unto Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of his city.
19 And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre: the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan.
20 And the field, and the cave that is therein, were made sure unto Abraham for a possession of a buryingplace by the sons of Heth.

Abraham received the field for his money and all in the land knew it was his land. Abraham buried Sarah in the cave of Machpelah. I think the thing I learn most from this chapter, is that Abraham was a man of honor and humility. Even though he was highly esteemed among this people, he knew that he should rightly pay them for the use of the land. This also meant that it could not easily be removed from Abraham and his family, if the relationship between families changed, however, I do not know this to be a reason for his purchasing it. It is always an example to me, when righteous men do not take advantage of their status. It reminds me of King Benjamin, who suffered himself to work among his people instead of living off of their labor. I am glad that we have these good examples to follow, when we live in a world which has a lot of people looking for every free thing they can get from the work of others.

The Twelfth Article of Faith

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,

We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

We believe that government is something that was established by God before the world began. God is our ultimate King and Ruler, with His Son, Jesus Christ and Lord over all mankind. Government, when led by good people trying to do what is best for its subjects, is designed for the benefit of everyone. This belief is expressed in Doctrine and Covenants 134:1. “We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society.”

We are subjects and citizens in kingdoms, nations, countries and so on. In these societies, we are to be held accountable for our own actions. The only way for us to be held accountable is if we have individuals or groups which oversee the creation and enforcement of the laws of the land. In Doctrine and Covenants 134:3 we read, “We believe that all governments necessarily require civil officers and magistrates to enforce the laws of the same . . .”. Without leaders of the land, I think that we would have chaos and a lot more evil in the world. Those who rule may be kings, presidents, rulers, or magistrates depending on the type of government. In Titus 3:1 we read of what the saints should be willing to do. “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work”.

We do not believe that any should be allowed to rule in a way where they seek to get gain at the expense of those they lead. Men should be free to think for themselves and have protection for themselves and their loved ones. We also believe that it is a god-given right for us to have our own property and belongings, and that no government should force a person to give these things up, and when absolutely necessary they should be properly compensated. In Doctrine and Covenants 134:2 we read, “We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.”

We believe that it is our duty as subjects, to obey, honor and sustain the laws of the land. This does not mean that we need to be subject to them in religious matters, because they do not govern our souls. In Matthew 22:21 we read, “. . . Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” Again in Doctrine and Covenants 134:7 we read, “We believe that rulers, states, and governments have a right, and are bound to enact laws for the protection of all citizens in the free exercise of their religious belief; but we do not believe that they have a right in justice to deprive citizens of this privilege, or proscribe them in their opinions, so long as a regard and reverence are shown to the laws and such religious opinions do not justify sedition nor conspiracy.” If we are committed to following God’s laws, then we will be willing to follow all laws of the land, as long as they do not go against the things of God. In Doctrine and Covenants 58:21 we read, “Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land.”

As saints, we should be willing to respect those who lead our country, even when we may disagree with how they rule. In 1 Peter 2:17 we read the words of Peter. “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.” We believe that we, as citizens, should stand up for what we know is right, while remembering that we are all children of God and we each deserve respect in our duties. In Doctrine and Covenants 134:6 we read, “We believe that every man should be honored in his station, rulers and magistrates as such, being placed for the protection of the innocent and the punishment of the guilty; and that to the laws all men owe respect and deference, as without them peace and harmony would be supplanted by anarchy and terror; human laws being instituted for the express purpose of regulating our interests as individuals and nations, between man and man; and divine laws given of heaven, prescribing rules on spiritual concerns, for faith and worship, both to be answered by man to his Maker.”

I believe that we can learn a great deal from being obedient to the laws of the land. When we are disobedient to these laws, we tend to have physical and tangible consequence that we are made to experience. With spiritual laws, often times the consequence is not one we may immediately recognize or understand, which may make them harder to follow. If we can restrain our passions and desires in a way that keeps us obedient to the laws of the land, we can be better prepared to be obedient to those laws of God. I am grateful for the laws of the land, because they give me a sense of security and safety physically in this life, that I know I would not have otherwise. I am grateful for those leaders who have the difficult work of making decisions for multitudes of people with diverse backgrounds, cultures, desires, and so on. I have a hard enough time leading in my home, and could not imagine trying to take on that responsibility. I believe that it is our duty to pray for these leaders, that they might be inspired in righteous ways and truly do what is best for all of their citizens and subjects. I know that it is also our duty to speak up when decisions are being made, so that we may be an influence for good. We have a responsibility to be aware of what our governments are doing and ways that we can help our societies.

Family Responsibilities

View the entire lesson here: Family Responsibilities

What responsibilities do husbands and wives share in raising their children?

My family has recently studied “The Family: A Proclamation to the World“, which teaches us that parents share the duty of loving and caring for their children. It says, “Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live.” Every parent should work to find opportunities to teach their childrenIn Deuteronomy 32 we read the following:

45And Moses made an end of speaking all these words to all Israel:
46And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law.

We need to specifically teach our children to keep the commandments of God. We should do our best to teach them whenever the opportunity presents itself. As parents, I think we sometimes feel like our kids should already know things that they haven’t been taught. Then sometimes our kids are forced to learn things the hard way, through making mistakes that they could have avoided if they had simply been taught.

Parents need to do their best to provide for their necessities of life. In 1 Timothy 5:8 we read, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” Heavenly Father is the spirit Father of our earthly children, as much as He is of each of us. He puts His trust in us, by allowing us the privilege of raising His children. We deny our faith in God when we do not do all that we are able to provide for our children, because we choose to not recognize His children for what they are.

Children also need to be shown how to be and to help them to know how to be honest and faithful people. They learn this by example from their parents. In Mosiah 4:15 we read, “But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness …”. Parents are responsible for living an honest and true life that their children can follow. This teaching must be done out of love, and parents should recognize that everyone will make mistakes and will need love, guidance, and support to do the best they can.

How can husbands and wives support each other in their roles? Where can single parents turn for support?

Every home is different, but the ideal situation has the father taking on the role of provider, meaning he works to provide the necessities for his children, and a mother taking on the role of nurturer. Sometimes the situations of the family do not allow for this, and it is then that things must be adjusted so that both the physical and spiritual needs are met. Husbands and wives can support one another, by allowing their spouse to do their part. One should not be in control of everything or telling the other how they should do everything, but they should work together to fulfill these responsibilities. Parents can support each other by being grateful for the things done by their partner. Showing this gratitude and helping children to show their gratitude as well, will go a long way in strengthening the relationships in a family. Single parents can turn to other family members and to their ward family for support. Most of all, parents can turn to the Lord for support, whether they are married or single.

What positive examples have you seen of fathers raising their children?

In the scriptures there are many great fathers. Alma the elder is a great example to me, of a father doing his best to raise a wayward son. We learn from him, that we should not give up on our children and stop praying for them. Lehi is another good example of a father. He was an example to his sons of following the spirit, and having faith in God. He had a great love and desire for all his children to follow the strait and narrow path.

In my own life, I have seen many examples of good fathers. The one that comes to mind right now is my grandfather who passed away last year. He was an extremely loving father, who made teaching his children a priority in his life. He worked very hard to provide for his family, but did not let work get in the way of spending quality time with his kids and grandkids.

What positive examples have you seen of mothers raising their children?

One of the best examples in the scriptures, is from the story of the stripling warriors. In Alma 56 and 57, we learn of the teachings of these mothers and the example of faith in God that they were to their sons. In Alma 56:47 we read, “Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.” It was by their teaching and example, that their sons were able to have faith and not fear.

I have seen many examples in my life as well. The best examples have been of love, patience, and kindness. I have witnessed sweet moments of teaching and love that come from soft spoken words to little children. I have seen countless sacrifices by loving mothers who give up their own wants and needs to bless the lives of their children. I am so grateful to the many examples of good mothers in my life.

How do children help their parents build a happy home?

I often wonder what I did in my home growing up, to help my parents have a happy home. I can recognize the things I should have done more, now that I am a mother. For me, the greatest things that children can do is to love each other. My hardest moments as a mother, come when my children are fighting and unhappy. Happiness in the home, is greater when children obey their parents. In Colossians 3:20 we read, “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.” This does not mean that parents should force their children to do things or exercise any unrighteous dominion over them, but that children should do the things their parents ask of them. Children can help by being an example as well. When my girls remind me to say a prayer, or want to share the things they have learned at church, and so on, their example teaches me more then I think I teach them. Children help by being willing to participate in family activities and in taking care of the house and needs of one another. A happier home will come when children serve and love one another and their parents.

What should children do to honor and respect their parents?

As I mentioned above, children should obey their parents. Another way they can honor and respect their parents, is to live in a way that would never bring shame to their parents. Proverbs 10:1 reads, “The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.” Children who are righteous and live wisely will live to make their parents proud, which is a great way to honor them. Children should show respect in their words and actions, both in the home and outside of it. How we speak about our parents can affect how others see them, and we should not do things that would cause others to judge them.

What did your parents do that led you to honor and respect them?

My mother has made family history a priority in her life, which is something that I have admired and loved in her. Her example has pushed me to do what I could do as well. I want to continue to do this work, so that I can make her proud and honor her. My father has taught me the value of music and meaning the things that I sing. These lessons have strengthened not only my performances, but my testimony as well. I have a great respect for my Dad’s musical talents and I hope that my desire to follow his instructions will honor him as well. Most of all, I hope that I honor my parents by how I am raising my own children. I am far from perfect, but I hope that I have learned from the examples that they have shown me, because I am truly grateful for them and the person I have grown up to be because of them.

What can each member of the family do to make home a happy place?

Using all of the things mentioned above, will make a happy home. All family members should follow the commandments, listen to one another, respect and love one another, serve each other, be kind and considerate, and so on. A happy home is a home of peace, love, laughter, enjoyment, health, and more. We need to do as the Savior taught us in John 13:34, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” This is an active love that comes through doing our part.

What are some traditions and practices that can make home a happy place?

Things that make a happy home include family prayer and scripture study, family home evening, and going to church together. It is also very important that we find ways to have fun together through playing games, doing projects, and so on. I am so grateful for the family and for the opportunity to learn and grow because of the responsibilities that I have to my own family.

About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.


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Currently I am studying the The Old Testament. I will be studying from the LDS - King James Version of the Bible (see link below). I am studying along with the book, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Old Testament by Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen.

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